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Design-Driven In App Purchases: Creating Sustainable Monetization

, junio 23, 2015

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11 replies on “Design-Driven In App Purchases: Creating Sustainable Monetization”

What I have to say in all this iap and freemium talk is having played Angry Birds 2, some type of role playing dragon game in the windows store, the sonic the hedgehog infinite runner game, and Looney Tunes Dash is that the IAP is used for people that seem to want to pay to avoid playing the game and so IAP for those games seems inappropriate. Sure they make money from it but it must seem a little sad they are paying to avoid playing the game because what does that say about the game?

That said Sonic the Hedgehog and Looney Tunes IR games are the only ones I play occasionally and I make it a point not to buy IAP. I also make it a point to not do unsolicited FB sharing of my game results however if asked I would recommend those games.

As far as my own aspirations I am a hobbyist so my only goal is fun hobby and if I get lucky good but I still like seeing moderation models.

I guess this comes down to making games for art or making games commercially. If we are to make/sustain an industry of making games which i believe we should then accepting that the profit motive is part of that is I think unavoidable. But! Please dont mistake that for putting the players need second.

In fact unlike games as art commercial games have to consider the players. The trouble is right now people can make a lot of money by playing with monetisation levers. Not unlike in pop music with trash bands.

However, if we want games with the ambition and potential to change the way games are accepted as well as to be commercially sustainable they have to put players first. Its the point im trying to make here. We need to create an expectation of value for player and deliver on it.

Nothing wrong with kickstarter, Patreon, arts funding etc to free the developer to make the games to delight audiences but that is no guarentee that they will satisfy player’s needs. Indeed there is less incentive to do anything but the developers own vision.

The good news is that there is room for both.

Suspect we wont agree but i do hope i have at least encouraged you to consider that despite the current examples it is possible to make better commercial games.

It seems, your ultimate goal is, to just make the most money. Its all about extracting the most out of the players. Even if you write that making the game awesome is a much better way to go than to employ cheap short-term psychological tricks, its still about extracting money from people.

«Doing evil trick #23?» – «Oh, that’s possible but it will increase the money fatigue of your paying dipsticks».

Don’t get me wrong.. All these points are probably very valid and there are a LOT worse articles out there…

But I still would not want to work at your company.

One thing that I think is very important is a ´bonus´ effect you receive after your first purchase. Two free games I played, Dungeons and Dragons Online and Stronghold Kingdoms both did that. When you make your first purchase, not only do you get the credits that you buy, but other things get changed about your gameplay. In fact, Stronghold Kingdoms even had a bonus after your second purchase also. In DDO, you got more character slots and a few other perks after you make a purchase, and in Stronghold Kingdoms the rate at which you get freebie cards is increased after your first, and again your second purchase.

In both games, for me, that bonus you get with your first purchase was the reason I made the first purchase at all… and then obviously once you have someone familiar with the mechanisms and safety of making a purchase, they are much more likely to do it again.

Very good article!
Second and Third picture – are very good examples of in-app purchases risk in my area.

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